The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education reports that food pantries on our public campuses are often necessary because students in the Commonwealth face the dilemma of paying for tuition and paying for a meal. This is not a uniquely Massachusetts problem but we are sadly unique in how deeply felt the problem is here.
Much was made of the fall 2013 report that Massachusetts students ranked first in the nation in standardized test results for various core subjects. While those results are certainly impressive, they also serve to mask real educational deficiencies in the Commonwealth -- areas where Massachusetts in fact lags far behind many other states. More exactly, the performance of Massachusetts students in wealthier schools and districts drives much of the quantitative success on standardized tests and our high test scores in K-12 contrasts mightily with the relative paucity of state funding and support for education in the early years and post-high school.